In yet another study showing the importance of dental care, chewing problems have been linked to dementia. This study was also far away from Joondalup; it was in Stockholm, Sweden. A study of 557 people over the age of 77 found that the risk of cognitive decline or impairment is increased in those who have trouble chewing solid food.
Europe has conducted a number of related studies on ageing which seemed to infer a higher risk for dementia for those who lose their teeth. There are many possible reasons for this, but before this study, nobody had thought of checking if it was the failure to chew food that was causing the suggested link.
Researchers at Karlstad University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden decided to further research the possibility of a link between tooth loss, chewing ability and cognitive functions. The dental status and cognitive function of the subjects were investigated and documented to provide data for the study.
What the Results Mean
The results indicated that those who have a hard time chewing hard food have a higher likelihood of decreased cognitive function. The study included controls for age, sex, mental health problems and educational disadvantages, which researchers thought could affect the accuracy of results. Even with the controls, difficulty in chewing can still be reasonably linked to dementia.
One suggested reason is that when it is difficult to chew, there is less blood flow to the brain. It is also possible that people with chewing problems choose to eat a diet that is less healthy for them. Another possible answer could be that chewing allows the body to secrete more endogenous enzymes, breaking down and digesting food more efficiently, meaning that a lack of chewing would cause a shortage of endogenous enzymes and hinder the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Dental Care at 1300 Great Smile
Whatever the reason for the results, better safe than sorry. To learn more or to put yourself back on the path of great dental care, call 1300 Great Smile in Joondalup today.